Located in the northwestern Foothills of the Adirondack Park, half of the village limits lie partly in the Town of Clifton, and Town of Fine both.
Star Lake was one of the last remaining unsettled areas in New York State. Early literature even indentify Star Lake as "Point Lake", because of its scalloped shores. It wasn't until 1894 that it's current name presents.
For much of the early to mid-1800s, it remained mostly wilderness until the various railway lines opened up the Adirondacks for all to enjoy. Lured by prospects of great hunting, fishing, fresh air, and crystal waters, summer vacationers flocked to the angular shaped lake. Star Lake grew as a prospering tourist destination supporting numerous large hotels, which have since diminished.
Along with tourism to this remote corner of NYS, the economy was also driven by industry when
in 1810 a large Magnetite ore deposit was discovered by engineers, who were conducting a survey for a new highway from Albany to Ogdensburg, when their compass needles began spinning wildly, due to the excessive quantity of magnetite ore in the soil beneath their feet, but it wasn't until 1889, that the Magnetic Iron Company, formed and began developing the Star Lake ore body, which sat under approximately 3,000 acres of land in the Town of Clifton.
Production of ore halted in 1893 with a depression in the iron ore industry, but would resume again in 1910, when the "Benson Mines Company" bought the site from the "Magnetic Iron Company" and continued operations on and off until 1918, when at the onset of World War II, The "Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation" leased the site.
The U.S Department of Defense built ore processing facilities and the iron-ore was shipped to Pittsburgh for use in the war effort. The mining operation expanded significantly in the 1950s, and was renamed the "New York Ore Division", although control remained in the hands of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation. At its height, the company employed 840 workers and was the largest "open pit iron ore mine in the world"
The company also took a leading role in community development and made huge financial contributions to a central schooling system, (Clifton-Fine Central School) water systems, housing projects and a centralized hospital (Clifton-Fine Hospital) up until it's closure in 1978.
Although the big industry has since ceased, Star Lake remains popular amongst tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts alike, due to the remoteness and tranquility of the area; friendly and warm hospitality of the locals; excellent fishing, and hunting; and plenty of dry land and aquatic recreational opportunities.
For more about what Star lake has to offer you, click the links below.